December 2016

Welcome to the December edition of The Authority!

I’d like to start by thanking you if you’ve managed to complete our survey on what business leaders and professionals are looking for in their business book reading. We’ve had such an incredible response from you and the information you’ve provided has already been so helpful that we’ve decided to extend the survey until the end of December to gather as many responses as possible. If you haven’t got around to it yet or you’ve lost the email, please ask Christopher Cudmore, Authority Guides managing editor to send you the link. There’s even a chance to win a full set of the seven published Authority Guides in our prize draw!

As the year draws to a close, I imagine many of you, like me, are beginning to think what 2017 will bring for your business. We have had an ‘interesting’ year to say the least. Will the aftershocks of Brexit and Trump begin to be felt next year and, if so, what will that mean for us as small business owners and entrepreneurs?

I am lucky enough in my business to have the aid and support of a wonderful mentor and friend, William Buist. Today we had our last session of the year together during which we discussed all the changes that have taken place this year for us at SRA Books and how we will build on these in the next few months. It’s a great time of year for reflection and renewal. Looking back to what we’ve done well and what we might have done better leads us on to looking forward to how we will grow and develop, learning from the lessons of yesterday. This is as true of us as individuals as it is of a business – in fact for the business leader it’s all bound up together.

Working through all of this with William, once again I was reminded that it is in the relationships that we have built in the past and those we will create in the future that the key to our business success lies. Whether we are looking for suppliers such as printers or whether we are looking for new authors to work with, it’s the trust that we develop in our relationships that is crucial to the smooth running of our business.

So this month’s interview could not be more perfectly timed. I was delighted earlier in the year when a proposal for an Authority Guide landed on my desk from the master of business growth and development, Paul Avins. Trust is at the heart of the selling relationship too, and in Paul’s book he shows us how we can help to create it by understanding the personalities of our customers better. And he talks to me about that here in this final Authority of the year.

I wish you a very happy festive time and look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

All good wishes,
Sue Richardson
Editor of The Authority

Paul Avins’s Top Tips for Trusted Selling…

Check these 5 Tips to attract more sales, and better profit margins:

  1. Is your client fast-talking and do they like zipping from subject to subject? Mirror back that same dynamic vitality; talk big picture, and be enthusiastic. DYNAMOs love results.
  2. Is a potential customer very friendly, chatty and relaxed? Make good eye contact, establish a personal relationship, and make your sale fun and friendly. BLAZE buyers want variety and good relationships.
  3. So some buyers listen more than talk? Be sure to take time to go through the details of your offer. Be present and don’t use fast sales speak. TEMPOs need time to build the trust to buy.
  4. Frustrated by a cautious buyer wanting to know every detail of how it works before they buy – to feel they’ve made the right decision? Don’t rush them. Present detailed product knowledge and a date to demonstrate a proven return. STEEL buyers like to act on fact.
  5. Getting to know the 4 Energies of your customers and selling the way they buy will have them returning to you again and again.

The Dynamic Selling System is the secret to unlocking more sales in your business and The Authority Guide to Trusted Selling shows you how to access it.

Each month in The Authority, we ask a business author and leader the question ‘Which business book has particularly inspired you or changed your business and/or your life and in what way?’

This month we’d like to thank leadership coach and facilitator Nicole Bachmann for recommending two of the books that have inspired her. Nicole is the author of Speaking Volumes, and co-author of Unprecedented: Gaining Competitive Edge in a Changing Legal Market and BusinessWise.

I’m usually really bad at answering those sort of questions, as there is a VERY long list of those books and interactions with people that should follow… and I’m continuously discovering others and more of them.

However, there are some books that I return to again and again – which do add something different every time I read them – so let me tell you about two of those:

  • Immunity to Change by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey: I first came across this whilst working with a client on developing one of our tailored leadership programmes around organisational change – and it immediately struck me as one of the most mature and balanced looks at the theme of what is getting in the way of people getting on with the change they are willing and committed to make. This, in our experience, is one of the major barriers to sustainable results in change programmes in organisations, and therefore was immediately of interest. Every time I go back to it, I am reminded of another important piece of the jigsaw that is the human mind and condition – especially around understanding the different levels of mental complexity.
  • The other book I keep going back to, because of the fascinating detailed research around long term competitive edge for organisations and what creates it, is Beyond Performance by Scott Keller and Colin Price. I first came across this one – in one of those fascinating moments of parallel invention – when we at Haywood Mann were working on our assessment tools around organisational health and business excellence – i.e. the ingredients that lead to long term competitive edge. It was a huge boost to us, motivationally and also regarding making a lot more of hard data available to us, that we, as a small business at the time, could not have afforded. Again, we like to dive back into this one from time to time, to remind ourselves of some of the important angles and links around sustainable competitive edge.


The Authority Guide to Trusted Selling